Originally published October 15 2014
70 medical staff treated Thomas Duncan in Dallas; 21-day countdown now underway
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Dozens of staff members from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas came into direct contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who became the first Ebola victim to die in the U.S. The Associated Press (AP) says roughly 70 healthcare workers from the hospital were involved in the care of Duncan, including nurse Nina Pham, who has now been confirmed as the first case of Ebola being contracted in the U.S.
Medical records provided by Duncan's family to the AP reveal that a very large medical team helped treat the victim before he died, which means authorities now have a lot more work to do in tracking potential cases still in incubation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that Pham's confirmed infection demonstrates a need to broaden the pool of people to be monitored. Unable to explain how Pham contracted the deadly hemorrhagic disease while supposedly wearing protective gear, federal authorities insist that there must have been some kind of breach in protocol at the hospital (and not a failure on the part of the Feds to disseminate accurate information about how Ebola spreads).
CDC spokeswoman says hospital records not helpful in figuring out who might have Ebola This is just a hypothesis, of course, and one that would conveniently vindicate the CDC from any culpability in the matter. But it is the CDC that has been insistent from the very beginning that Ebola isn't a threat to the U.S., allaying concerns at healthcare facilities like Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital that treating Ebola patients poses a major risk.
Now that more Ebola cases are emerging, the CDC is backpedaling and trying to blame the hospital for breaching protocol rather than its own trail of misinformation. At the same time, CDC spokeswoman Ruth McDermott-Levy actually had the gall to accuse the hospital of making light of the severity of the situation, when this is exactly how the CDC has been treating the prospect of Ebola coming to the U.S.
"This is not something we can afford to experiment with," she told the AP, referring to the fact that Duncan's medical records are inconclusive in identifying every individual who came into contact with him.
CDC monitoring around 70 people believed to have had direct contact with Duncan; nurse's boyfriend admitted with possible symptoms According to the CDC, at least 48 people were originally being actively monitored for possible infection, a number that includes those who may have been in contact with him after he became infected but before he went into isolation. That number has since expanded to include the 70 medical staff who treated Duncan as well as other possible contacts.
Gotnews.com is also reporting that nurse Pham's boyfriend was recently admitted to the hospital with "Ebola-like symptoms." Two separate employees of Alcon, an ophthalmological pharmaceutical company in Fort Worth where the boyfriend works, allegedly reported that he is "now in quarantine," and the CEO of the company reportedly sent out an email saying that he was admitted for observation, but without a confirmed diagnosis of Ebola.
As far as Pham's own treatment, USA Today reports that she recently received a plasma transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, a medical missionary who survived after contracting Ebola in West Africa. The non-profit group Samaritan's Purse, as well as Pham's pastor, reportedly confirmed this to the AP.
The Dallas Morning News has also reported that an unidentified friend of Pham's is being monitored for the disease, confirming as well that Alcon CEO Jeff George had sent out an email about Pham's boyfriend being admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital for observation.
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